PetCo urges “Think adoption first”
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2004:
SAN DIEGO–Customers seeking any live animal at any of the
680 PetCo Animal Supplies Inc. stores will now be advised to “Think
Adoption First,” the PetCo Foundation announced on August 20 at the
2004 Conference on Homeless Animal Management and Policy.
“PetCo does not sell dogs and cats, and for almost 40 years
has worked with shelters to find homes for adoptable animals, but
our stores offer small animals, reptiles, and birds,” spokesperson
Shawn Underwood said. “As part of ‘Think Adoption First,’
PetCo–with the help of Petfinder.com –will reach out to shelters
that offer these other animals for adoption. Although PetCo will
continue to offer companion animals in their stores, they will
encourage customers to seek adoptable animals in the community as a
“Working with more than 7,100 animal welfare organizations,
Petfinder.com offers a searchable data base of adoptable animals,”
Petfinder claims to have helped place more than 1.5 million
animals in 2003.
As a separate but parallel test, four PetCo stores in the
Minneapolis area in July 2004 began offering rabbits for adoption
from the Minnesota House Rabbit Society.
Tami Myers, founder of The Angry Parrot campaign against
selling live animals from pet stores, told ANIMAL PEOPLE that she
will continue to urge a boycott of PetCo, as well as other stores
that sell live animals.
“The sale of animals is a mere 8% of their profit,” Myers
said. “The animals do cause a public draw. We understand this, and
asked PetCo to allow us to set up one store with birds in a
‘rainforest’ attraction in an existing bird room. We would supply
the birds, and information would be available about where to go to
adopt a parrot. We’d be responsible for the care of the birds.”
Myers said the offer was ignored.